ACORN: An Oct. 22 Op-Ed article about the community group ACORN stated that, in two ACORN offices, staff members offered advice to a pair of videographers posing as proprietors of a prostitution ring. While tapes of all the offices visited by the pair have not been released, it is clear from those that have been that ACORN offered advice in more than two offices. The article also said that the pair were “kicked out” of most ACORN offices. Because unedited versions of the tapes have not been released, it is unclear how the encounters ended, but it is unlikely they were ordered to leave most offices.
Just one problem: those weren’t the only issues I raised. I also pointed out another error by Dreier, who falsely stated that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted. What occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud, and it was ACORN that exposed the wrongdoing in the first place.”
As I noted in my post, the American Spector said otherwise, writing that “Darnell Nash of Cleveland, Ohio, was registered to vote by ACORN nine times for last year’s election. Nash cast a fraudulent ballot and was convicted of vote fraud and voter registration fraud.” According to every source I can find to address the topic, Nash actually voted in the election after being fraudulently registered by ACORN, only to have his fraudulent vote discovered after the fact. I have collected several consistent sources on this topic here. Also, as the link makes clear, Nash’s voter fraud was exposed, not by ACORN, but by a citizen whose address Nash claimed when Nash cast a fraudulent ballot.
Nor does the paper explain why Dreier’s acknowledged consulting work for ACORN was not disclosed.
I wrote Nick Goldberg and asked him to explain these omissions from the correction. Goldberg declined to do so for the record, and allowed me to publish only this statement:
If we run something inaccurate or misleading in the paper, our policy is to publish a clarification. There were a number of heated charges about mistakes in Peter Dreier’s article. We looked into all of them, tried to figure out who was right and who was wrong, and ran a clarification in today’s paper that speaks for itself.
That’s not an adequate response. Neither the correction nor Goldberg’s statement does a damned thing to explain why the paper didn’t correct Dreier’s false claims that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted” or that “[w]hat occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud.”
Nor do they explain why Dreier’s consulting work for ACORN wasn’t disclosed.
These are legitimate questions that deserve to be addressed. It’s a shame that Goldberg won’t do so.
Finally, while it’s an obvious point, it bears repeating: the one error that the paper did see fit to correct should never have seen the light of day. And at a paper that employed any conservatives as top editors, it wouldn’t have. Every conservative I know was aware that ACORN had provided advice to Giles and O’Keefe at more than two offices. The fact that nobody reviewing Dreier’s op-ed had any clue of that well-known fact shows how dismissive the editors are of the ACORN scandal specifically, and of conservative viewpoints generally.
UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Since this post was originally published, I have had a chance to look at the actual docket for Darnell Nash’s conviction, and it appears clear that, while he was charged with vote fraud, he was not convicted of vote fraud. Instead, he pled guilty to three counts of false registration. Here are the relevant screenshots:
Click to embiggen.
I have sent an e-mail to the author of the American Spectator article that erroneously reported that Nash was convicted of voter fraud, seeking a correction. I have received no response.
The interest of full accuracy demands that I publish this correction. It is nevertheless still quite clear to me that Nash voted illegally, whether he was convicted or not. Also, Dreier should have revealed his ACORN connections in the article, and botched facts familiar to every knowledgeable conservative I know.